The guys at Redhead really know their stuff... twice I've thought I might have had an issue... and called them up. Both times they were polite about being confident of their own workmanship, told me which other parts to check first ... and both times they've been right... (turns out... eating a bushing was my own fault...)
Very friendly and their customer service is top notch.
A-1 Cardone is remanufactured to OEM standards and Redhead is supposed to be better than OEM specs. Nothing wrong with A-1. But it's like a blueprinted engine compared with a new engine from Ford. Redhead should have tighter tolerances than OEM, hence the higher price.
A1 Cardone is garbage. I ate through 6 of their steering gears in less than 30K miles. They would start off good and get looser and looser until they were unsafe.
They would start off fine and within a few thousand miles be so loose I could not stay in my lane. A1 would exchange them and I would do it all again. After the last one was leaking from the time I put it in becuase the seal was installed wrong, they gave me cash back on the box and the core.
The Redhead fixed it for good and made it better than when it was new.
The A1s are nothing close to factory spec.
After 5,000 miles and 8 months I'm still in love with the Red Head Steering box. No slop has developed and it still handles great. I've gotten many compliments from people who have drove my truck on how well is handles and steers. I'm just glad I can go down the road without feeling like a drunken sailor.
I do have an on center to near on center memory steering issue but I don't think it's related in any way to the steering box. I have an idea given to me by a trusted local alignment shop to eliminate that issue. I plan on trying it when the weather warms up and I can tear into it. If it works I'll post my results otherwise I'll conveniently forget that I said anything at all.
Seriously.. the steering gear, if it is the cause to my wandering, this **** **** ****** *** ***** is dangerous.
I have about 2 inches of play in my steering wheel before it does anything.
Having difficulty staying in your lane with dry pavement is one thing, but when you're driving in a winter blizzard and the slightest steer will put you in the ditch...... then a curve is up ahead with no sight of pavement while a toyota tercel is easily passing you...
I've had the steering gear for 2 weeks now, just got to get some courage to install that in -4F weather.. :S and hopefully I won't have my life flash before my eyes while trying to keep my truck on the road.